As this week marks the start of Black History Month, Amy White, Head of Client Involvement, Diversity and Inclusion, reflects on some of the activities that took place across our offices last month for Diversity Day.
The idea behind Diversity Day is to raise awareness, share and learn from each other and celebrate our differences so everyone at St Mungo’s feels valued for who they are.
Last year our first ever Diversity Day was a huge success with 300 staff, clients and volunteers getting involved. This year we wanted to make the celebrations bigger and better than ever.
Staff and clients organised activities at our services across the South and South West. We also hosted three events at our head office, one of our large hostels in London and our Recovery College in Bristol.
A celebration of who we are
It was great to share our cultural heritage, identity, skills and talents with others, getting involved with art workshops, live music, poetry and much more. We also had an impressive array of foods from around the world and stalls from each of our seven Diversity Networks.
Throughout the day we held a series of insightful talks. A range of experts spoke on issues including tackling hate crime, race equality, improving the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse and the reform of the Gender Equality Act and clients also shared their personal experiences.
Our strength lies in our diversity
Diversity and inclusion is something we are committed to in our work every day. However, it was fantastic to have a dedicated day to focus on these values and highlight how important they are to us.
We believe having diversity of thought and experiences makes us more innovative and better able to meet the different needs of our clients. It also ensures people feel valued, respected and able to be their best selves at work.
Engaging staff and clients
I’ve had some great feedback from the day, including from Pragna – former Deputy Chair of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network (BAME) Network – who said “the diversity initiative at St Mungo’s has made such a positive impact on my life, that I have continued to carry it forward not just in my professional life, but in my personal life too.
the diversity initiative at St Mungo’s has made such a positive impact on my life, that I have continued to carry it forward not just in my professional life, but in my personal life too
“Being involved with the Networks gave me confidence, built my skills and thankfully opened my eyes to my own judgements and misconceptions, as well as providing a safe space for open dialogue.”
We wanted the day to have a lasting legacy and encouraged all staff and clients to commit to one action to continue to promote inclusion. I look forward to seeing how people put this into practice over the next year and beyond.
St Mungo’s was highly commended for the best diversity and inclusion initiative at the CIPD People Management Awards 2018 and has been nominated for the Personnel Today Awards 2018 Diversity & Inclusion – Public Sector Award. Find out more about how our commitment to diversity shapes our organisational values here.